And this is the cover I'll be using for the last book!
Well, let me tell you this. I've gone through an entire day of deleting, saving, stressing and sitting on my bed with the door closed and the lights off. When something like the cover of your book comes up, you have to be vigilant with the files.
Back in the last school year, which was my first year of college, I had a hard drive that I carried around in my backpack everywhere. But it was unprotected. That plus that equaled a beeping, broken one. Thankfully, I don't remember if there are any important files on that blasted thing and I'd rather not know. But when you're in college, especially in Journalism, you have to go through numerous photos and videos that you don't have time to file properly (at least I don't anyway). This morning, I only had 4 gigabytes of space left from too many saved photos and videos, and let me explain how that's a problem.
The Blacktop Brothers 4: Years Ago or From Now was the first book I self-published myself. The previous three were from Trafford Publishing. But I did everything I had to in order to get it printed. I had to redo the interior and cover numerous times to get it to match up right. Sometimes sophisticated publishing software is overrated. And then when I got it, the cover was kind of pixelated, and I found out it was because my cover wasn't saved at 300 or more DPI (dots per inch). Thankfully, in Createspace you can redo anything, and I plan to redo that when I have time.
But to do this for the fifth cover, I had to heighten the entire cover to that exact size, and let me tell you, it was almost like I was saving a 5 minute movie. But I wanted to make it so I had everything as clear as day, so I first saved the images I was going to paste on the covers at 300 DPI. Then I saved the images as Photoshop documents so I could edit them if push came to shove. Then I saved them as the highest quality JPEGs, and then PNGs to be safe. I then did the exact same for when the actual back cover, front cover and spine were finished. Then I had to do all that again when I put the three pictures into one softcover jacket. I had 6 separate images (the front cover picture, the back cover picture, small pictures of the previous books for the back, in high quality just to be safe) to save these three ways. I only changed the four prior covers once each, but still, altogether that's 19 big images I saved into my one computer. Then I realized I had to save the complete cover for Createspace as a PDF, so that makes 20. The Word document for the interior plus the PDF version I used for that equals 22. And don't even get me started on all the different attempts to do the manuscript right, when I thought it was correct then ZAP! I was an ocean off.
So putting a book together is a tough process. But it's still one I wouldn't recommend rushing. In the long run, you'll thank yourself. And thankfully I have a new hard drive, so I was able to free up enough space by moving my older photos and videos to do it, and I'll be extra careful with this one.
Right now, I'm also looking at a small Powerpoint slide where I've put all my book covers on there in order, all lined up. That right there, is an entire series, a life project (or adolescent project, which feels like a life project).
And you know, this was kind of a good time for the colleges to go on strike. If you don't know, all 24 of Ontario's publicly funded colleges are protesting to have 50-50 full-time and part-time faculty, equal pay for part-times to full-times, some extra freedom for teachers to be able to teach in certain ways, and a few other things I find reasonable but am not fully researched on yet. Though I'm kind of eager to do a certain project with my teachers (which involves Monster by Mistake, my other life project) this strike has been helpful to me. I've remained busy and have had the time to format my book and create the cover. When you're in school or doing work, these things can be really hard to focus on without something else getting diluted.
So, I still have to do a bit more proofing of the book, and I don't know how long that will take exactly. When I wrote TBB4 with Createspace, I had to constantly edit my cover because sometimes it ended up crooked or the text or lines not at the same cut as where the spine and covers were supposed to be. And whenever I do a change, some personal group at the industry has to look over what I've done and approve it. If you ever want to publish something with Createspace and you just read that, don't worry. Unless you wanted to show something too "revealing", they won't reject you. But they do have to look it over and that can take a while. I think for each time I had to submit a review, it took 3-6 hours? Maybe more, maybe less? But either way, that's the last step before I can order a proof copy and then hit "Publish"! Now if you'll excuse me, I need something to eat.
The Blacktop Brothers 5: Taking Flight is going to be 585 pages long and I expect you to be able to have a copy in your hands or be able to order it by about Halloween!